START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

How to Get Happy: Seek a 'Meaningful Life'


Society & Culture  (tags: americans, children, culture, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, gayrights, media, politics, rights, safety, society, world )

Kit
- 479 days ago - livescience.com
Prayers, betting parlors, doctor's appointments, monuments, diets, holidays, college degrees, lottery tickets, Valentine's Day flowers, wedding rings: what do these things have in common? Each offers hope.



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

Comments

Kit B. (277)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 5:59 am
Wanna be happy? As long as you have money, optimism is one sure bet, research suggests.
CREDIT: © Martin Novak | Dreamstime.com


Prayers, betting parlors, doctor's appointments, monuments, diets, holidays, college degrees, lottery tickets, Valentine’s Day flowers, wedding rings: what do these things have in common? Each offers hope. The Statue of Liberty is a beacon of hope. Las Vegas sells hope. Immigrants risk their lives and leave their homelands because they hope. At Christmas, Passover and Ramadan, we hope. At the lift-off of a spacecraft, we hope. With breakthroughs in science, we hope. We buy homes, support charities, and give gifts because we hope. The world is filled with ceremonies, festivals, shrines, ideas, customs, religions, community projects, friendships and jobs that offer hope.

Why are we such optimists; why do we hope? Perhaps because we humans have evolved big brains, capable of seeing our defects, remembering our mistakes, foreseeing our death, and envisioning the opportunities of the future. What would we do without the ability to overlook the negative and accentuate the positive? Life through rose-colored glasses keeps us healthy, energized and focused on reaching our special goals. With hope, our ancestors struggled forward; with hope, they achieved; with hope, they survived—and passed along to you and me the neural circuits for optimism, which I recently mentioned as part of an ongoing series from Chemistry.com focused on the bright side of dating in 2013.


A happy woman wearing headphones.
7 Things That Will Make You Happy
incontinence insomnia medicines dangerous
Optimism Is Key to Successful Aging
5 Things That Will Make You Happier
Article:
How to Get Happy: Seek a 'Meaningful Life'
Helen Fisher
Date: 08 March 2013 Time: 11:30 AM ET
inShare2
Expertvoices_02_ls_v2[2]
happy woman
Mechanical Engineering
Licensed Mechanical Engineering
www.glewengineering.com
[Pin It] Wanna be happy? As long as you have money, optimism is one sure bet, research suggests.
CREDIT: © Martin Novak | Dreamstime.com
View full size image

Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com, contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Prayers, betting parlors, doctor's appointments, monuments, diets, holidays, college degrees, lottery tickets, Valentine’s Day flowers, wedding rings: what do these things have in common? Each offers hope. The Statue of Liberty is a beacon of hope. Las Vegas sells hope. Immigrants risk their lives and leave their homelands because they hope. At Christmas, Passover and Ramadan, we hope. At the lift-off of a spacecraft, we hope. With breakthroughs in science, we hope. We buy homes, support charities, and give gifts because we hope. The world is filled with ceremonies, festivals, shrines, ideas, customs, religions, community projects, friendships and jobs that offer hope.

Why are we such optimists; why do we hope? Perhaps because we humans have evolved big brains, capable of seeing our defects, remembering our mistakes, foreseeing our death, and envisioning the opportunities of the future. What would we do without the ability to overlook the negative and accentuate the positive? Life through rose-colored glasses keeps us healthy, energized and focused on reaching our special goals. With hope, our ancestors struggled forward; with hope, they achieved; with hope, they survived—and passed along to you and me the neural circuits for optimism, which I recently mentioned as part of an ongoing series from Chemistry.com focused on the bright side of dating in 2013.

Isn't it odd that so many Americans—who share a country with more wealth, better land, cleaner air and water, more access to education, more personal freedoms, greater peace, and more economic opportunities than just about any nation on earth—are depressed? To counter this, I suggest it's time we exercise our natural optimism—and get happy.

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, divides happiness into three basic forms: Those who seek a "Pleasant Life" focus on increasing the duration and intensity of their positive emotions; those who wish to have an "Engaged Life" find their greatest strengths and refocus their energy to use these aptitudes as much as possible in love, work, parenting and play; and those seeking a 'Meaningful Life' find and use their greatest talents to serve a higher purpose, something greater than themselves. Optimism, Seligman maintains, is essential for the 'Meaningful Life'. Only with hope can we pursue goals that are larger than ourselves.

We are built to hope. And scientists, priests, poets and philosophers have told us how to amplify our optimism. So go forth. Adopt some of the suggestions offered, and shoot for the stars: a pleasant, engaged and meaningful life.
******

By: Helen Fisher | Live Science |


Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com, contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
 

Kit B. (277)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 6:00 am

So sorry about that middle part, just ignore if you can.
 

Arielle S. (316)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 12:29 pm
I think a lot of us keep looking for someone else to solve all our problems - we learn much too late in life that we are the ones that have to be responsible for our own happiness. And for me, it's simple stuff - kitty hugs, good food, warm pj's, a sunny day, birds singing, new seeds sprouting. "Things" make us happy for about three minutes and then we need more "things". But just recognizing how much we already have? Priceless.

"Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all..."
 

Angelika R. (146)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 1:26 pm
To me large parts of that is a meaningful online life ;-) Each day Care 2 promises me hope and I keep hoping that there will be no tech issues blocking me one way or another from doing pleasant, engaged and meaningful work for the greater good that makes me and others happy! :-)
Thx Kit!
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 10:13 pm
Hope: a small word with a world of meaning! Thank you Kit for this eye-opening article!
 

Frans Badenhorst (547)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 10:59 pm
hope and faith goes together like cheese and macaroni......:).......(and then you just HAVE to have some LOVE in your life, of course...).......♥
 

Roger M. (0)
Tuesday April 2, 2013, 11:20 pm
I think there's wisdom here and I thank you for it.

As Anton Chekhov so succinctly put it, "the meaning of life is this: do good."
 

Sherri G. (111)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 1:38 am
Being Optimistic requires taking action as often as we can. My puppies, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends help me maintain optimism when things and times get tough. Thanks Kit.
 

Lynn D. (0)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 1:56 am
Thanks!
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 5:26 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Fi T. (16)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 6:19 am
So we can make the best out of what we've been given
 

Ben Oscarsito (353)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 9:20 am
My doctor told me: "Get yourself a life, man!..."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMmvNUSbfrA
 

Winn Adams (190)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 12:03 pm
Sometimes when times get tough you just have to fake it till you make it. Act as though you have the confidence and do it, say it, whatever. Believe it in the moment and you just might believe it after the moment is gone.
 

Stuart Thomas (505)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 12:49 pm
Thanks Kit.

Living a meaningful life is very important to me. I used to have the words "Are you living a meaningful life today?"
as part of the message I put on my telephone answering machine.
 

Stuart Thomas (505)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 12:52 pm
I don't know why what I write with the words aligned with each other sometimes show up as divided as what is showing above after I click on: Submit. I wish I knew how I can fix this problem.
 

l L. (1)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 12:56 pm
Angelika;; I concur...


Nice comments here..
My input is this.. hypocrisy.. self proclaimed righteous people exposed for the skeletons in their closet while turning on others or condemning others and for the child in the room(meaning me at that time) having believed in the perfect person with skeletons in the closets... muddied... the meaning of life.

My question now is ... why all the need to declare oneself happy? Does it say if I am not.. I am mentally ill or I need to be delcared as such?(food for thought).
What is happiness and by whose standards is that happiness acceted as such?
I find that people; barely grow up and they are off to wars.. Children don't get reared, information is not passed on , important stuff is lost in the cracks. Stuff that brings knowledge for preparing people for the life coming that they don't know about and the living they are not prepared for and the unhappiness that comes with them .I.E like being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.

People can only take you as far with the knowledge that they know.

And of wars;; wars that are not of the meaning said to ..haave .. been..
So of that.... Leaderships who speak one thing for others demand moral clarity. That in itself leads to a picture of hypocrisy cause of those looking and listening will do as they do..
And.. doing so makes us all unhappy..
So if we want others to be happy... try being truthful and make this world a better place to live in for us all.

Me; I settle for the phrase... learning to be content. I find even that thinking is flawed. oh well.
 

Darcie Busch (0)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 9:43 pm
It is great to have hope. But be sure to have hope in only those things that you know will not let you down and will last. Be it God, family, love, etc.
 
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story


Loading Noted By...Please Wait

 

 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.